Members of the Rotary Club of Myrtle Beach are celebrating the club’s 70th anniversary in October, and they are looking for past members, old newspapers articles, photos or other memorabilia pertaining to the club.
The Rotary Club of Myrtle Beach was the second one to be founded in the Grand Strand area. The Rotary Club of Conway was the first.
David Michaux, who has served Rotary in positions ranging from the local to the international level, is quick to point out that the Rotary Club of Myrtle Beach, like Rotary clubs around the world, is a service club; not a civic club. “We do service for others,” he said.
Rotarians work to help their communities and the people who live in them in numerous ways, and with clubs in numerous countries, they work to make life better for people everywhere. According to the Rotary International website, Rotary’s areas of focus include promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing economies. “It’s just amazing what Rotary has done,” Michaux said.
In 1946, when the Rotary Cub of Myrtle Beach was founded, women were not allowed to join Rotary. In the 1980s, that changed. Michaux said that women now make up about 24 percent of Rotary members worldwide. The Rotary International website says, “We are 1.2 million neighbors, friends and community leaders that come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world.”
James “Jim” Kendrick, 97, is the senior member of the Myrtle Beach club. A North Carolina native, he retired from the Air Force and moved to Myrtle Beach in 1968. In 1974, he joined the club. Few people can relate to how different the world was the year before the club was founded better than he can. “Everybody had one objective, and that was to end the war,” he said.
Kendrick graduated from the Citadel in 1940 and went to flight school. He was supposed to be in service for a year, but America got involved in World War 11 on Dec. 7, 1941 while he was stationed in Newfoundland, and he spent the next four years at war.
When world War 11 finally ended in 1945, Americans no longer had to focus on winning a war, and many of them, including the men who founded the Rotary Club of Myrtle Beach, focused on making the world a better place. Rotary was founded in 1905, and Rotarians in the United States and other countries had remained strong, keeping their clubs together and continuing their good work throughout the war years.
“The Rotary is a great organization and I’m thankful that I joined it,” Kendrick said. “If everybody would go by the four way test of Rotary, this would be a great world.”
The Rotary Four Way Test is: “Of the things we think, say or do, is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”
To contact the Rotary Cub of Myrtle Beach about items or past members, call 655-9214.
Peggy Mishoe, firstname.lastname@example.org, 365-3885.